Recognizing Countries Where Absinthe is Legal

There are several countries where Absinthe is legal to obtain, sell and consume. Gone are the times of bootleg or clandestine Absinthe, when it needed to be distilled in secrecy, shipped from other countries or branded in another way. In many countries it is no longer a criminal offense to distill Absinthe or unlawful to promote it.

Absinthe is a herbal liquor which has an anise taste. It is usually served diluted with iced water, that can cause the famous louche effect, and was a popular beverage during the 19th century. It had been made illegal in several countries at the start of the 20th century because of concerns concerning the chemical thujone present in wormwood. Not only was Absinthe an intoxicant, like all alcohol based drinks including wine, beer and cider, but it has also been thought to be an hallucinogen.

The medical profession and prohibitionists believed that Absinthe contained large amounts of thujone that they alleged was psychoactive, like THC from the drug cannabis, and may cause psychedelic effects. Now that we know that Absinthe only contains small amounts of absinthelegal thujone and is also just as safe as any strong spirit. It may however provide you with a totally different kind of drunkenness, if consumed in excess. The alcohol and the unique mixture of herbs combine to behave as both a sedative plus a stimulant – very strange. Many people have described it as a “lucid” or “clear headed” drunkenness.

Countries where Absinthe is legal include:-

United States – Absinthe was prohibited in 1912 but in 2007 a couple of brands of Absinthe were approved in the US due to their very low thujone content. The USA only permits “thujone free” beverages to be sold but Absinthes with fewer than 10 parts per million of thujone (below 10mg per liter) count as thujone free.

The EU (European Union) – Absinthe was legalized in the EU in 1988 but there’s a regulation regarding thujone content in drinks in the EU. As much as 10mg/kg of thujone is permitted in alcohol with more than 25% alcohol by volume, and up to 35mg/kg in alcohol labeled “bitters”.

Australia – Absinthe is legal. Bitters can have a thujone content as high as 35mg/kg along with other beverages can contain up to 10mg/kg.

Brazil – Brazilian law allows Absinthe as high as 10mg/kg thujone and that it ought to have below 55% abv.

Canada – From March 2007 it’s been up to the separate Canadian province liquor boards to modify thujone. Many provinces don’t let any thujone containing alcohol to be sold but Absinthe is legal in British Columbia, where there is no limit, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec. Quebec and Ontario legislate that Absinthe with up to 10mg/kg thujone may be legally sold.

Czech Republic – Absinthe wasn’t banned within the Czech Republic.

France – France notoriously restricted Absinthe in 1915. French law of 1988 allows thujone beverages to be sold if they comply with EU laws and if they’re tagged “spiritueux à base de plantes d’absinthe” instead of Absinthe. France has regulations relating to fenchone that’s seen in fennel, an integral ingredient of Absinthe, so beverages also need to have low fenchone contents (as much as 5mg/liter).

Hungary – Absinthe turned legal in 2004.

Israel – Absinthe appears to be legal and also on sale in Israel.

Ireland – Absinthe that contains thujone is unlawful to buy and sell but can be shipped in for personal consumption.

Netherlands – Absinthe was made legitimate in 2004 after being prohibited in 1909. Absinthe must meet EU requirements.

New Zealand – Absinthe is authorized.

Portugal – Absinthe was never prohibited.

Russia – Substantial thujone Absinthes (as much as 75mg/kg thujone) can be found in Russia.

Serbia – Serbia doesn’t seem to allow Absinthe made up of thujone or higher 50% abv to be distributed.

South Africa – Absinthe is authorized by 2005.

Sweden – Absinthe complying with EU legislation may be sold and is labeled as containing wormwood.

Switzerland – The house of Absinthe legalized Absinthe in 2005 soon after banning it in 1908.

UK – The UK never prohibited Absinthe. Absinthe must conform to EU legislation.

Essentially there are numerous countries where Absinthe is legal and may be enjoyed. You might like to create your own Absinthe using Absinthe essences from These essences come up with a true Absinthe and may be shipped around the world. They just don’t require distillation, that’s been accomplished for you, and are generally perfectly legal. Check them out.